With football season just around the corner, things are beginning to get a little crazy around my house. I’m not much of a college fan myself, but my husband, John, is a die-hard Carolina Gamecocks fan. And I do mean die-hard.
Back when we were still dating, I once witnessed him set his car window flag on fire after a particularly devastating loss. (I think it was to Auburn.) Regardless, the polyester had melted all over the roof of the car before I managed to rip it off and stamp out the flames in the dirt.
Six years later, little garnet splotches can still be seen on the roof of our Mitsubishi.
My prediction for every Gamecock football game this season is the same as it was last year: Upon waking, my husband will rush to the computer and play every YouTube video featuring Steve Spurrier and/or Mike Davis with the speakers set to full volume.
“Sandstorm” will be predominately featured. Thirty minutes prior to kickoff, he will begin a nervous pacing between the living room and the kitchen, most likely while on the phone with a fellow USC fan, each reassuring the other of the team’s destined greatness. (The ‘84 loss to Navy will not be mentioned.)
In the moments just before the ball is snapped, he will enter a three-point stance in the living room, his face inches from the television. Now, keep in mind that John has had six knee surgeries. A three-point stance isn’t exactly a comfortable position, and yet, the entire game will be viewed from it, moving only to throw his hat angrily across the room.
By the third (but no later than the fifth) play of the game he will have declared it “over.” He’ll howl about how the entire team is undeserving of the media hype, and rage about which players should be thrown out of school for (in his mind) a complete lack of effort.
By halftime (regardless of the score) he will have denounced Coach Spurrier as “too old” and demand his resignation. If the opposing team manages to score even a single field goal, the entire season will be written off as a loss.
However, if at the end of the day, South Carolina wins, he will breathe exactly one sigh of relief and then immediately begin fretting and worrying about next week’s game. All of the previous disparaging remarks will be vehemently denied. If the Gamecocks lose, he will quickly spiral into a pit of depression that can last up to but not limited to several weeks.
I try to be sympathetic, I really do. And although I’m not the superstitious type, I bake his “lucky” red velvet cupcakes for the games that he’s particularly stressed about — complete with cream cheese icing and chocolate sprinkles. They’ve yet to fail him.
I do worry sometimes that he will pass on this craziness to our son. Two-year-olds are impressionable, and I certainly don’t need both males in the house losing their minds come every August.
But what’s a girl to do? I certainly can’t in good conscience encourage our little one to cheer for my team. After all, I’m a Cleveland Browns fan.